The laser cutter is the true workhorse of any making set-up. And last week I have ordered one for our minFabLab at home. The machine is a Chinese machine provided by HPC in the UK. The mechanics are fine, but the software less so. However, the LaOS project creates open source hardware and software to run the machines, and you can buy the machine without the original control hard and software.

The good people behind the LaOS project regularly travel to the UK to get ‘gutted’ laser cutters from HPC. Once here you can provide them with the needed electronics and software, and end up with a working laser cutter. Total cost: 850 GBP, 125 Euro shipping, and 150 Euro for the hard and software: 1340,- Euro.

You can find some pictures of the machine at Bart Bakker’s website on his miniFabLab, and a description of the LaOS project is also available.

The machine has been ordered, and will be transported to the Netherlands early July. Then of course it still needs to be outfitter with its ‘brain transplant’, to get a working machine. Also there will be need to create some active air ventilation put in place to remove the fumes from lasercutting to the outside.

Next up is looking for a vinyl cutter (after the summer) and taking a closer look at what I already have and still need for a micro-electronic workbench during the summer.